Eugene Debs gave a speech intending to encourage others not to join the military. He was indicted and convicted by a jury for violating the Espionage Act. The Act made it a crime to obstruct military recruitment during World War 1. Debs appealed his conviction arguing that he was exercising his right to free speech under the First Amendment, and the Espionage Act was unconstitutional. On January 28, 1919, the United States Supreme Court heard oral arguments in Debs v. United States. On March 10, 1919, the Supreme affirmed Debs’ conviction.
Clarence Darrow labored to obtain a pardon for Debs, or have his sentence commuted. President Wilson refused, but President Harding agreed to commute his sentence to time served. He was released from prison on Christmas Day in 1921. Find out more at http://debsfoundation.org.